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Letter: SAFE Act should have had ‘grandfathering’ provisions

SAFE Act should have had ‘grandfathering’ provisions

In the days since enactment of the NY SAFE Act, talking to whomever I can about it, no one seems to know that this act threatens large numbers of New Yorkers with major criminal charges and penalties for something that was legal months ago.

The New York leaders responsible had to know that they were overriding common-law protections for citizens in the state and U.S. constitutions. Earlier bans in the ’80s and ’90s avoided violating the right to not be prosecuted for something made illegal after the fact with “grandfathering” provisions. The governor and company, having their proverbial ducks in a row, got what they wanted, till they go for more. The fact that New Yorkers don’t know about this certainly prevents many from feeling something may be amiss in it.

Since the days of my youth, when firearm pursuits were seen as mainstream, wholesome activities, much has been done to marginalize law-abiding gun owners and sellers. Could the fact that lots of them fall on the same side politically be a reason? What better way to marginalize people than to criminalize them? These guys throw the word “extreme” around pretty freely – the only part of this that’s funny at all.

Dan Hoffman

Buffalo